Monday, December 30, 2013

Hand Painted signs of December 2013

Have you all thought that I had forsaken you?
Never fear, I am still here.  Just buried in work at the resort.
Despite our pitiful amount of snow, skiers, snowboarders and plain ol’ snow lovers have flocked to the mountain to enjoy what minuscule amounts of the white stuff we do have.
The weather has been exceptionally fine and enjoyable to work in, at least to me,  50 degrees at the 7000 foot elevation this time of year is unheard of but I do like that I have not had to snowmobile into the houses to access them.

Before resort work had ramped up I had quite a busy month in the studio. 
Special orders for gifts came pouring in and I endeavored to meet the deadlines.

God is Great700
With the freezing cold of the first week or so of December, I ended up with a broken pipe. 
Of course, it is the pipe that runs to my studio. 
You don’t realize how convenient something is until you no longer have it.

Despite having to haul jugs of water out to my studio daily, I managed to get quite all of the painting done.   
Only Repeat Perfection
I do enjoy special orders, even if they challenge me.
cozy little house700
Or maybe I enjoy them because they challenge me.
When they are a challenge, it is when they are finished that I receive the joy.
During is definitely frustrating and tedious work and corrections, but it pays off in new skills learned.

Some customers wanted bright and colorful.
Others merely words of special meaning to them.

I waited until after Christmas to share most of these with you.   
Being they were gifts I did not want to inadvertently spoil a surprise if any of the recipients just happened to be part of my readers.

sit down sign700

Painting lettering is always a challenge for me, my hand is not that steady and getting the words to look neat and tidy is difficult.

So that is some of what kept my nose to the grindstone the first part of December. 
The projected weather for N. California continues to look dry.
As soon as work on the mountain wanes I will be sure to start working on my painting videos, and I have a couple of recipes to share.

Enjoy your last couple of days of December! 



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rainbow Granny Cowl or Rainbow Around my Neck


I am still working on how to get self photos so bear with me on this and look at the scarf and not me!

Back in February I shared a project I was working on.
Being the dead of winter I needed some cheery color to brighten the frigid winter days and keep my neck warm when I have to snow mobile into work. 
So I found a quick and easy pattern that caught my eye and made my version of it.

Easy Peasy Granny Cowl

I used Caron Simply Soft in a rainbow of hues and crocheted away.
It worked up fast and easy so it would make a great quick gift. 


And it certainly does the trick of bringing some color into a drab winters day as well as keep me warmer.  


It also hides your turkey neck, if you have one.

Plus, plus, plus!
So whip out your yarn and hooks and whip up some winter cheer today. 
Don’t know how to crochet?
Try Craftsy.
They have classes for all sorts of things, knitting, sewing, cooking, photography and crochet, plus many, many more and right now they are offering a deal for gift giving too.
Click on link below to check it all out.


Right now you can Gift Any Craftsy Class and save big while you're doing it! Want to give someone a Craftsy class, but not sure which one to pick? With our "Gift Any Class" cards, you can buy a loved one any Craftsy class of their choosing for $30! It has never been easier to give the gift of crafting fun!
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Gift 3 Craftsy classes for $75 (save up to $105)
• Gifted classes never expire
• Give one, two, or three Craftsy classes
• Deliver on any date (up to three months in advance)

Happy Crafting!



craftsy is an affiliate link of mine, if you purchase I will receive a small bit of compensation for sending you their way.

Friday, December 13, 2013

A House Painting

Just a quick note.  It has been a very exciting week!
A broken water pipe which started to flood the basement. (from the inordinately cold weather the beginning of the week)
And of course, it is the pipe to my studio.
So I have had to haul gallon jugs out with me instead of having the convenience of a working sink.

Ah well, such is life.
My little cottage/studio is where I have spent most of the week and here is one item of many I completed.

cozy little house700 

This house painting gave me fits over and over. 
Many times I wanted to contact the kind lady that ordered it and tell her it was beyond my capabilities.
But I pressed on, always reminding myself that I go through that on many things I paint before it all comes together.
Then I end up loving it. 
Now I want one of my own house.

This is a good sized painting, around 36 inches across.
And now that I see the results of my continued efforts (though I do have a few bald spots from yanking my hair out in frustration) I am so happy I made myself see it through.
I will share more of my creations I have been busy on later, right now I have to head up the mountain and trudge thru snow to finish cleaning a vacation home. 
The busy time is here and skiers and snow bunnies will be flocking to the mountain to enjoy all this snow and that means I will be extremely busy the next few weeks keeping things neat and tidy for them. 

The plus side is it burns off all the calories I have been consuming lately.
That is always a good thing!



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Yummy Quick and Easy Cheese Danish

The predicted snow storm produced a good 16 inches or more of fluffy white stuff.  
It snowed off and on all day yesterday. 
I painted a good portion of the day away in my cozy studio.
After I defrosted the chicken’s water and spreading a good thick layer of straw over the snow that had drifted into their pen.
They do not like walking on that cold white stuff and were all huddled in their chicken house not daring to stick a toe out, even to get to their food.
It is a tiny chicken house meant only for sleeping in and the pen has a roof but the snow blew in the side and covered the ground.
Normally I have a big sheet of clear plastic covering one side to prevent the snow coming in but I am slow about getting to that this year.
They were content with the fresh straw to walk on and laid 6 eggs.
I collected 4 eggs right after getting the straw situation sorted out and forgot to check for anymore later. 
They laid 2 more eggs but with the low overnight temps they froze solid.
I will be more diligent about collecting the eggs before dark today.

Yesterdays post on waffles was a big hit and was pinned like crazy.  I guess a lot of people want to know how to make waffles.

This morning I wanted to try something new.
When I came across the recipe at one of my favorite cooking blogs, Country Cleaver, I had to print it out and have it ready to roll, just for such a day as this.
A stay at home day.
cheese danish17label

Quick and Easy Cheese Danish Recipe

When she says Quick and Easy, it really is.  I had to adjust the recipe cooking time for our higher elevation but that was all. 
I scattered fresh blueberries on mine and it added just the right touch.
My husband thoroughly approved as he wolfed down a couple….
after a morning of shoveling out our vehicles.
They are as tasty as they look.

cheese danish 27

In the recipe ingredients it calls for an egg and water for an egg wash but the directions did not say where or when to use it so I just skipped that part.
I don’t miss it a bit.
  cheese danish 37

It is a good thing I will have tons of vacation cabins to clean after this coming week.
I will need the workout after this spell of baking. 
I think my studio has probably heated up enough to work in, time to head out and get some more signs done.
I am getting close to finishing up the special order signs people wanted as gifts. 

Happy Baking everyone! 


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Best Homemade Waffles from Scratch!

Good Snowy Saturday everyone!
We woke to a fluffy 14 inches of snow and the big fat flakes fall as we speak. 
As soon as it was light enough I trotted outside to take a photo of our house.

Because it is just fun.  That’s why.
Even though the snow came over my snow boots and clung to my yoga pants. 
Being that there is so much to shovel, my main snow remover (AKA: dear hubby) requested one of his favorite breakfasts to maintain his energy. 

I figured some out there may wish the recipe so I tried to snap a few quick photos before sitting down to feast. 
I know these are my nephew, AJ’s favorite breakfast when he is here too.

Being that we live at the 4000 foot level I have to make adjustment in recipes for the elevation.
So I will  post the original recipe, which comes from my now vintage Betty Crocker cook book and my adjustments will be in parenthesis.


Waffle Recipe

2 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter melted
2 cups all purpose flour (I use 1 C unbleached flour and 1 C whole wheat, I like King Arthurs White Whole Wheat, it is milder)
4 tsps baking  powder (I cut it down to 1 TB)
1 TB Sugar  (I use 2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. Salt

Heat waffle iron (I have a Waring Pro Belgian waffle maker, I got it at Costco).  Beat eggs until fluffy; beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. Pour batter onto center of hot waffle iron.  Bake until steaming stops, about 5 minutes.  (the Waring Pro Waffle maker has an automatic timer that beeps for you when they are done, the heat setting is 4)
And that is it. 

To keep them hot and crispy when you have a bunch to make to feed a crowd all at once, place the waffles on a baking sheet individually, not stacked, and keep in oven at 250 degrees. 

Enjoy your waffles! 

Here is a link to more about making adjustments in baking at higher elevations  Betty Crocker-Baking at High Altitudes

My husband insisted I take a photo of his waffle after he decorated it. 
He’s just a funny guy.

daves waffle7

Now to go out and burn off those calories!  Snow shovel here we come.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Giving DecorArt Chalky Finish Paint a Try

How is everyone today?
We are enduring a bit of chilly weather but compared to many places in the country we are rather mild at lows in the 20’s and highs in the 30’s. 
Snow is on its way though and enough to make it pretty around these parts. 
Even though it is pretty, it gets in my way so I am not a big fan of it. 

I have been extremely busy with orders for signs and I have spent most of my time painting in the studio. 
That is good and bad. 
Good because orders means sales which means income.
Bad because I have things I wanted to do before now and have not had enough time to do them.
Like reorganize and redecorate the inside of the studio.  (I have plans, big plans)
It will look like this after this weekend.
Don’t you think I need to spruce it up with some outside decoration?
In summer I have roses climbing on it, but in winter it looks a bit bare and forlorn. 
The neighbor is having a big fir tree taken down, I could use fronds that are being cut off it now. 
What do you think??? 

I also have tons of pine cones I can use. 

I also need to make a winter sign/banner to go hang from the top lateral porch beam.
Add it to my ‘to do’ list.

My dining room I have started on but then with all this work that got stalled too. I do have one thing I am getting completed. 
My pedestal table.

I actually started on it this past summer. (yep, I am slow as molasses)
I painted it with MMS Milk Paint in Eulalie’s Sky and Ironstone. We both loved it….but then disaster struck…or to clarify, a rainstorm.
  I tried to protect it but it was a dilly of a storm and moisture was able to get on the table.
I had not had time to wax it.
  And this is the result.

rain on Miss Mustard seed sky
I am not sure what this is but it would not wash off and when I tried to repaint with more of the Milk paint it just seep back thru it again.
So I had to regroup and try another paint.
I resorted to DecoArt Chalky Finish Paint and one coat did the trick. 
To be truthful I have never been a fan of grey. 
It seems so bleak to me.  But I thought I would give it a try.
And I have to say that the neutral shade seems to fit in even better than the blue inside my house.
It does have a hint of blue to it.
I am not sure if that is the blue coming from beneath showing up or if this truly is a bluish grey.
I guess I will have to paint something else with it to see.
I tried to get some dining area shots of it but the light was not the best.

The lighter colors to brighten the area nicely.

Especially compared to the other table and chairs.

dining area 27

The pedestal table is not what I am going to use here but it was a good test run for the grey paint color for another table I have been considering using in the dining area. 
Next I will share a bright and warm crochet cowl I made.
Get your sunglasses, you made need them.

Until next time…enjoy yourselves and stay WARM!


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